Ultrabook, featuring reduced bulk without compromising battery life, is an Intel specification and trademark for a line of high-end subnotebook computers. The use of low-power Intel Core processors, solid-state drives, and a unibody chassis help Ultrabooks to meet these criteria. Ultrabooks typically omit common laptop features such as optical disc drives and Ethernet ports owing to their limited size. The name “Ultrabook” is derived from the combination of two words “ultraportable” and “notebook”.
In 2011, Intel announced the Ultrabook concept at Computex. The plan was to build a thin (less than 0.8 inches thick) notebook that utilizes Intel processors and emphasizes portability and a longer battery life than other laptops. Intel’s motive was to influence the slumping PC market against rising competition from smartphones and tablet computers, which are typically powered by competing ARM-based processors. The Ultrabook took on against biggies like Apple’s MacBook Air, which has similar form specifications and is powered by Intel CPUs. However, it is not advertised under the Ultrabook brand.
The Ultrabook sales faced hurdles in the period of 2012-13 owing to the fact that most Ultrabooks were too expensive for wide adoption and Intel’s constant changing of Ultrabook specifications caused confusion among consumers. In addition to this, it faced stiff competition from rivals like HP and Samsung and the overall shift in the market away from PCs as a whole to smartphones and tablet computers only made the situation tougher.
Intel added the requirement for all future Ultrabooks to include touchscreens with the third generation Ultrabook specification introduced in June 2013 alongside its new Haswell processor architecture. The requirement is intended to prevent “game-playing” and market confusion from OEMs, who had offered low-end products with touchscreens but not Ultrabooks.